Review: Smile Empty Soul – Chemicals


Artist: Smile Empty Soul
Album: Chemicals
Rating: 10/10

Smile Empty Soul is a band that, for many, needs no introduction. This band has been around since the late 90’s and are still just as great as they were in the beginning. Most, though, only know them from their hit single “Bottom of a Bottle”, which was on their self-titled album. For those of you who have been following the band over the years, you will be delighted to know that they just keep getting better and better. Their latest offering, “Chemicals” is a DIY release and it’s, honestly, some of their best material to date. The lyrics are better than ever, the instrumentals are fine-tuned and the overall togetherness of the band is just as amazing as ever. But just what is it that makes this release so much better than their previous material? Let’s take a deeper look.

Lyrical Content: Vocalist Sean Danielsen’s lyrical prowess knows no bounds. As always, it seems as though the themes in this album are pulled from personal experience, which can give you more of a connection to the album. “False Alarm”, for instance, opens with “Glass shard sticking out of my heart/Now the summer has subsided from the rain” and goes on to say “False alarm/I could have sworn/That something else was going on”. This track, to me, signals at a love gone wrong, where he had feelings for someone else that the other person no longer shared. Then you have one of my favorites, the title track, “Chemicals”. It opens up kind of slow and cries out, “Every time I see your face/You leave me with a bitter voice, my friend/”. The song itself seems to be about a struggle with addiction, “There ain’t nothin’ left here for you to say/You shut your mouth/I’m gonna put a bullet into your brain/Another side effect of the chemicals I take.” The album, lyrically, definitely shows how great of a lyricist that Danielsen is, listen to each and every lyric on it and tell me I’m wrong.

Instrumentals: The instrumentals are just what you would expect from any SES record, but with an added twist. Just when you think you have the album figured out, it throws you for a loop with something new. The guitars are heavy, yet subtle, the melodies are perfectly placed and the drum beats keep things going in perfect time.

There aren’t very many bands who have remained a 3-piece who can achieve the type of success that Smile Empty Soul has, nor are there many who can compare to the personal level they bring you on with their music. If you thought you loved the band or even liked them before now, “Chemicals” will multiply that exponentially and show you that this band is proving and, for that matter, has PROVEN that they aren’t going anywhere. Pick up “Chemicals” on October 1st through Pavement Entertainment/MRafia Management and submerse yourself in a bath of sonic joy as Smile Empty Soul lives up to their name!

Smile Empty Soul on Facebook

Buy “Chemicals”

“False Alarm” Audio Stream